Thursday, 8 September 2016

Away trapping

It has been a while since I've mentioned anything about my trapping exploits in Bucks away from the garden, so here's a brief catch-up:

23rd August (chalk grassland near Princes Risborough)  Quite a good night with close to 100 species caught, the highlights being several Ypsolopha nemorella, a male Gypsy Moth, Square-spotted Clay and my first Hedge Rustic of the year.  It was getting a bit late in the season for many of the chalk specialists although Pretty Chalk Carpet and Rosy Minor were still around.

Ypsolopha nemorella, Princes Risborough 23rd August

24th August (M40 Compensation Area, Bernwood Forest)  Nothing noteworthy apart from my first Vestal of the year.

27th August (Dancersend)  A Bucks Invertebrate Group meeting with a number of traps run by several group members, targeting the southern (waterworks) end of this BBOWT reserve.  My own two lights were placed on a strip of chalk grassland which produced nothing out of the ordinary apart from an unusually high count of Blastobasis adustella (125). 

30th August (Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes)  Dire!  Barely 30 species between two traps with Cedestis subfasciella the only moth vaguely of interest.  Apart from a single Southern Wainscot, habitat specialists were notable by their complete absence.  As with many sites around Milton Keynes, Lodge Lake suffers greatly from pressure of human activity, in particular light pollution.

5th September (M40 Compensation Area, Bernwood Forest)  Another quiet night with Psoricoptera gibbosella and Pale Eggar the only vaguely noteworthy moths.

Pale Eggar, Bernwood Forest 5th September

6th September (Stoke Common)  With Martin Albertini and Marc Botham, an excellent evening for the time of year with just short of 100 species recorded at the best area of heathland in the county.  One of the most abundant moths was Neglected Rustic of which more than 100 were seen.  A double-digit count of Heath Rustic was also very pleasing, the species having only been discovered at this well recorded site last year.  Other interesting items included Mirificarma mulinella, Nymphula nitidulata, Pempelia palumbella, Birch Mocha, Hedge Rustic and Beautiful Yellow Underwing.

Mirificarma mulinella, Stoke Common 6th September

Heath Rustic, Stoke Common 6th September

7th September (Walton Lake, Milton Keynes)  With Martin Albertini, this proved to be another dire evening with barely 40 species accumulated between five MV lights!  At least one or two reed-dwellers did appear this time, with Calamotropha paludella, Southern Wainscot, Bulrush Wainscot and Webb's Wainscot all recorded.  Of passing interest were fresh examples of Blastodacna hellerella and Hedya salicella which might suggest a second brood for each of those species.

Hedya salicella, Walton Lake 7th September

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks  


  1. Dave, is Rammamere Heath in the Bucks vice county? I know part of it is in the political county. I've not heard of any visits to this heathland site.

    1. Hi Adam, indeed much of the heathland at Rammamere is in VC24. I trapped there regularly about six years ago and got nice things like Archer's Dart, White-line Dart and Rosy Marbled. Hope to repeat the exercise next year if permission is forthcoming.

    2. I should add that the area of heath used to be nowhere near as extensive as that at Stoke Common and there was also a fire at the end of the season during which I trapped there which destroyed a significant amount of heather (wasn't me, honest, guv!). However, the Greensand Trust have done some excellent work recently involving removal of conifers which has increased the area of heath quite considerably. Much of the heather is still quite young but the site now has even greater potential for interesting moths.


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